Hello Lovely Readers!  Thanks for visiting reLuxe renderings!

This site is my own personal creative writing and online homesteading haven. Some of what shows up on this website is raw — unedited, off-the cuff, and not always well-thought out. Some of this written from passion and takes weeks to craft. Occasionally, when something just drives me crazy, I’ll post in anger. (I usually regret those posts, but I’m human and it happens.)

In other words…this is like my journal. However, I also do more structured writing on homesteading with in-depth how-tos. Those posts will offer less personal commentary and more hard-hitting, get it done kind of information.

So if that’s what you’re browsing for, check out my full list of posts that I have written for reputable online homesteading resource sites below.



If you are new to homesteading, this blog is meant to offer you ideas and information to help you start homesteading the simple way step-by-step.

  1. Simple Homesteading Starts Now
  2. Seed Starting
  3. The Importance of Observation
  4. Recognizing Resources
  5. Garden Dreams and Compost Calculations
  6. Simple Vermicomposting
  7. Less Trash + More Bokashi = Garden Love
  8. Starting a Homestead Potager
  9. Plan Your Homestead Potager Garden Location
  10. Pathways For Your Homestead Potager
  11. Homestead Potager Garden Bed Design
  12. The Homestead Potager Garden Design
  13. Constructing Your Homestead Potager
  14. Plant Your Homestead Potager
  15. Harvest and Succession Plant Your Homestead Potager
  16. Easy Composting for Your Organic Garden

If you are looking for photos and details about herbs and spices you can grow at home, then check out these posts.

Mother Earth News


The ABCs of Homesteading: A is for Asceticism, B is for Borrowing, C is for Creativity

The ABCs of Homesteading: D is for Ducks (Also published in the Grit Guide to Raising Chickens)

The ABCs of Homesteading: E is for Edible Landscaping

The ABCs of Homesteading: F is for Fodder

The ABCs of Homesteading: G is for Goats

The ABCs of Homesteading: H is for Horticulture

The ABCs of Homesteading: I is for Income (Also published in Mother Earth News Magazine)

The ABCs of Homesteading: J is for Jack of All Trades Journeyman (Also published in Mother Earth News Magazine)

The ABCs of Homesteading: K is for Kitchen Skills

The ABCs of Homesteading: L is for Legal Considerations

The ABCs of Homesteading: M is for Meat

The ABCs of Homesteading: M is for Mushrooms

The ABCs of Homesteading: N is for Nutrition Management

The ABCs of Homesteading: O is for Organic and Beyond

The ABCs of Homesteading: P is for Ponds and Preparedness

The ABCs of Homesteading: Q is for Quiet Reflection

The ABCs of Homesteading: R is for Responsibility


The Grow Network (TGN)


Organic Gardener’s Tool Kit Series

The # 1 Tool for Organic Growers – Organic Matter

The # 2 Tool for Organic Growers – Mason Jar Test

The # 3 Tool for Organic Growers – At-Home Soil Test Kit

Special Challenges to Managing NPK in the Organic Garden

The # 4 Tool for Organic Growers – 6 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizers for Healthier Soil

Mycorrhizael Inoculant: A Powerful Solution to the Organic Gardener’s Catch-22

5 Reasons Your Green Beans Are Thriving (When Nothing Else Is)

7 Keys to Good Water Management

Green of the Month Series

Growing Mâche: The Little Lettuce that Lasts All Winter

Growing Spinach: Pack a Punch in a Little Bunch

Sweet Potato Vines: How to Grow This Antioxidant Powerhouse

Purslane: The Omega-3 You Can Grow for Free! (With Recipe)

Heat? Drought? Delicious Oak Leaf Lettuce Thrives Anyway!

Chard en Garde Manger: The Delicious 3-Season Green for Food Security

In Praise of Growing Parsley (With Recipe)

All Hail, Kale! Growing Kale at Home (With Recipe)

Growing Arugula: The Rocket in Your Salad Bowl and Garden (With Recipe)

Mustard Greens: What You Need to Know Before You Grow (With Recipe)

Pig Processing Related

Preparing for a Pig Slaughter

The Pig Slaughter

Hog Processing: Skinning, Scalding, Scraping, and Eviscerating

Hog Butchering at Home

Make Delicious Homemade Bacon in 6 Easy Steps

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killing: Part 1 – Hog Raising

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killing: Part 2 – Hog Killin’

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killing: Part 3 – Hog Cookin’

Crop Rotation

Crop Rotation for the Home Garden, Part 1: Pest Control

Crop Rotation for the Home Garden, Part 2: Pathogen Prevention

Supercharge Your Garden! 4 Steps to Vibrant Soil Using Compost and Crop Rotation

Chicken Related

Crowing Hen? Is That Even Possible?

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: How to Keep Chicken Water From Freezing

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: Cold-Hardy Chicken Breeds

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: The Tale of the Frostbitten Chicken and Lessons Learned About Prevention and Treatment

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: 11 Quick Ideas to Improve Chicken Comfort

Miscellaneous Subjects

Siberian Ginseng: The Adaptogen for Astronauts, Athletes, and Anyone Under Stress

How to Label Homemade Herbal Medicines and Why You Should

How to Make Herbal Infusions

Dog Training 101: Good Dog + Good Trainer = Right Results

How to Make a Tincture

10 Incredibly Powerful Antiviral Herbs

5 Ways to Find Farmers in Your Area

Make Peace With Your Poop (and Then Make Compost With It!)

The Ongoing Farmer Crisis (and What You Can Do About It)

8 Simple, Succulent Ways to Cook Duck

Are Banned Drugs Making Meat Unsafe to Eat?

Benefits of Bone Broth: Myth or Magical Mystery?

5 Keys to Food Security in Extreme Weather, for Home Gardeners

The Art of Growing Onions

4 Uncommon-Sense Guidelines for Food Safety and Nutrition

Extreme Weather and Food Resilience, for Home Growers

From Weeds to WOW – The Weed Island

Are You Prepared for Peak Chicken?

Your Mental Edge – Trusting Your Intuition in the Garden

Homesteading – A Radical Re-Evolution


Morning Chores



Fertilizer Calculator: Find Out How Much Fertilizer to Use in Your Garden

The Mega-List of Fertilizers for Your Organically-Grown Garden

Carbon to Nitrogen Compost Calculator: Create the Perfect Compost Pile

Growing Fenugreek: Plant Varieties, How-to Guide, Problems, and Harvesting

5 Best Summer Cover Crops and How to Use Them

Seed Stratification: A Comprehensive Guide to This Seed Germination Trick

How to Use Leaf Mold to Restore a Weedy Garden Bed

Growing Poppies for Decorative Seed Pods, Spice, and Beauty

Allelopathic Plants: What Are They, The List, and How To (and Not To) Use Them

What You Need to Know to Safely Compost Dog Poop

How to Extend Your Cool Season Crops and Spare Your Soil Despite the Heat

The Good and The Bad About Using Urine as Garden Fertilizer

What is a Walipini Greenhouse and Do You Need One?

5 Common Gardening Myths Debunked (Backed with Research and Experience)

How to Start a Cut Flower Bed in Your Vegetable Garden

How to Use a Broadfork to Promote Good Drainage in Your Garden

5 Ways to Improve Your Gardening Skills

Landscaping with Moss Can Create a Magical Fairy-Tale Garden

Weed Control Plan for an Organic Vegetable Garden

Hotbed Gardening: Add a Little Heat to Your Gardening Repertoire

How to Make and Use Aerated Compost Tea (ACT) in Your Garden

Plant Roots 101: Going Back to Our Roots in the Garden

How to Store Seeds Correctly and Why It Is Vitally Important

How to Make Even More Compost Using Bokashi

14 Do’s and Don’ts of Growing an Organic Vegetable Garden

Get an Early Start on Spring Gardening with These 8 Off-Grid Tricks

6 Smart Strategies for Starting Seeds on a Shoestring Budget

20 Low to No Cost Gardening Hacks for Homesteaders

Potting Shed: Why You Need It and 15 Tips on How to Use It

How to Make Organic N-P-K Fertilizer Mixes at Home and Save Money

How to Create Moss Scapes to Bring the Outdoors into Your Home

20 Easy-to-Grow Spices You Can Grow at Home

Growing Saffron: A Complete Guide to Planting and Taking Care of Saffron at Home

Use Cloches to Add Charm, History, and Functionality to Your Garden

Buying Seeds Strategically: A Frugal Gardener’s Guide to Ordering Seeds

How to Create a Potager Garden: An Aesthetically Pleasing Kitchen Garden

How to Use Plant Labels to Keep Your Garden Organized (and 10 DIY Plant Marker Ideas)

The Fall Transition Gardening To-Do List

6 Tips to Help You Start Your Fall Garden Now (and Why You Should)

How to Get Prepared for Planting Fruit Trees and Bushes This Fall

Use the Right Winter Cover Crops to Supercharge Your Spring Garden

5 Reasons to Start a Pollinator Garden (and 6 Tips to Help You Do It)

20 Practical Ways to Use Weeds on Your Homestead

Growing Egyptian Walking Onions: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest These Unique Onions

How to Save Lots of Money Propagating Plants from Stem Cuttings

Growing Horseradish: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Horseradish

When to Pinch Pennies and When to Pay for Quality as a Homesteader

An Essential Guide to Self-Sufficient Gardening with 17 Staple Crops

10 Easy-to-Grow Alternative Greens to Diversify Your Salad

Growing Asparagus: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Asparagus

12 Underused Herbs Every Smart Gardener Should Know and Grow

Why You Should Have a Herb Spiral and How to Build It in 4 Steps

How to Propagate New Plants with Minimal Work Using Layering

Many Benefits of Mints and Their Surprising Versatility for Gardeners

Edible Landscaping: How to Start a Beautiful Perennial Plot for Food Supply

3 Easy Ways to Radically Improve Your Soil Using Trench Composting

How to Grow a Salad Garden from Seed to Table

Keyhole Garden: Why You Should Build a Keyhole Bed and How to Do It

How to Grow Duckweed and Water Hyacinth for Cheap Livestock Fodder

How to Train Your Goats to Use a Litter Box (and Save $40 Easily)

Poultry (Chickens, Ducks, Turkeys)

10 Tips for Taming Chicks so They Become Friendly and Social Chickens

How to Keep Hawks Away and Protect Your Chickens

20 Money-Saving Chicken Care Hacks for Every Chicken Owner

Turkey Anatomy: Revealing the Mysteries of Snood, Caruncle, Wattle, and More

9 Reasons Why Raising Turkeys Might Not Be Right For Some Homesteaders

12 Odd Tips on Raising Heritage Breed Turkeys You Need to Know

20 DIY Poultry Brooders from Low Cost to Beautiful and Durable

When Poultry Predators Attack: Investigation and 11 Prevention Tips

Everything You Need to Know about Duck Molting and Care

5 Ways to Use Duck Poop to Enrich Your Edible Landscape Soil


How to Safely Introduce a New Goat to an Existing Herd

Beginner’s Guide to Raising Goats for Milk Production

Basic Goat Care Management Responsibilities for New Goat Herd Owners

American Lamancha Goats: Breed Info, Characteristics, Breeding, and Care

Suckling and the Vital Importance of Colostrum for Goat Kids

5 Goat Birth Complications You Need to Know Before Kidding Season

How to Get Ready for Goat Kidding Season

10 Super Simple Goat Care Hacks That Can Make Your Job Easier

12 Easy Ways to Get Your Goats Ready for Winter and the Freezing Cold

A Comprehensive Guide to Goat Breeding for Beginners

How Train Your Goat to Milk on a Stand the Easy Way

The Homestead Kitchen

How To Make The Easiest Fermented Pickles Ever

15 Solar Cooking Tips to Help You Cook Better With Sunshine

How to Make Goat Cheese (Chèvre) in Only 6 Steps

The Life and Times of Cornbread: From Ancient History to Being the Gluten-Free Alternative

Bring the Wide World of Flatbread to Your Homestead

6 Easy DIY Cheese Cave Ideas for the Cheese Lover

3 Steps to Savor Your Personalized Homemade Herbal Teas and Infusions

5 Tips for Making Herbal Vinegar and Other Infused Vinegar Recipes

How to Make Vinegar Extractions (plus Infusions, Tonics, Fire Cider, and Shrubs)

13 Creative Kombucha Recipes for a Flavorful Health Brew

How to Make Homemade Cordials or Fine Spirits in 6 Steps

How to Make an Endless Supply of Kombucha with Very Little Work

Fermentation: What Is It and How to Ferment Food at Home

10 Easy Steps to Make Homemade Elderberry Wine

5 Steps to Start a Homemade Cheese-Making Routine

How to Make a Homemade Palak Paneer from Scratch with Whey Vinegar

4 Tips on How to Cook “From Scratch” Like a Homesteader

Miscellaneous Topics

20 Tips to Help You Become a Minimalist Homesteader

Create a Cozy Small Courtyard in Your Backyard Using a Few Cheap Tricks

6 Reasons to Get a Farm Dog and 5 Reasons You Might Not

5 Homestead Clothing Trends for Comfort, Safety, and Style

DIY Mold Remediation on the Homestead

How to Create Farm-to-Table Outdoor Dining Area

How to Design and Create a Cozy Bistro Dining Area in your Garden

How to Create a Beautiful Homestead Office that Works for You

25 Practical Indoor Homesteading Hacks at Zero Cost in Less Than 5 Minutes

10 Indoor Homestead Skill-Building to Beat the Winter Blues

3 Steps to Turn your Home into a Homestead for $500 (and Save Thousands of Dollars)

How to Right-Size Your Homestead Dreams Right Now!

20 Tips for Winter Preparation for your Homestead (from Personal Experience)

Celebrating Christmas on the Homestead: 5 Ways to Make It More Meaningful

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms – a Guide to Getting Shiitake Done

Top 10 Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency Books for Cold-Weather Reading

10 Inspiring Fall Homestead Activities to Reconnect with Nature

10 Fall Homestead Projects That Will Give You a Headstart to the Busy Spring Season

5 Creative Ways for Effectively Managing Mud on the Homestead

18 Relaxing Activities to Beat the Fatigue from Your Summer Chores

5 Homestead Layout Planning Tips to Save You Money in the Long Run

The Way Back

This site belongs to my partner in homesteading Matt Miles. We used to share the site, but I decided to start my own blog using WordPress.com because the administrative side was easier for me (a non-tech person) to navigate.

Three Years In: A Self-Assessment and the Work to Come

Ode to Matt

Care and Feeding

Romantic Rendezvous at the reLuxe Ranch

Merry Christmas – A Tale of Two Stories

Natural Born Killer

Hog Killin’ at the reLuxe Ranch

re-Visions at the reLuxe Ranch

Christmas in July

Silence of the Ducks: Thoughts on Raising, Butchering, and Eating Animals

Dumpster Dilemma

Hanging Tomato Vineyard (Note – I don’t recommend hanging tomatoes unless you have serious blight issues. Too much watering is necessary! We now use the hanging garden structure as a kiwi trellis.)